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Secrets to a Luxe Look on Any Budget

If you crave the easy elegance of a luxurious abode, but your budget reality is more Target than Restoration Hardware, you’ve come to the right place! From symmetry and understated color palettes to linen on everything, these designer go-tos and insider tricks will make your house look luxurious, no matter your budget.

barbarachambers.041r-hires
Chambers + Chambers Architects

Your first step is to streamline the color palette. Luxurious homes, while sometimes bursting with color, are more often than not odes to layered neutrals. Think rich browns, cool grays, sandy beige, and crisp white. One trick, if you’re having trouble winnowing down the color palette of a particular room, is to pull out your phone camera and snap a few pictures — viewing photos of your space can help give you some perspective. Notice which colors jump out at you first, and then take a moment to actually count the number of hues you can spot in the photo of your room. If it’s more than three (not counting neutrals like gray and beige) you probably have some editing to do!

With the color palette in hand, bring your focus to how your furniture and decor is arranged — generally the more symmetry you can introduce into your room, the more formal (and luxurious)  it will feel. Try facing your sofas or armchairs towards one another, place a pair of topiaries or potted plants on either side of the mantle, or identical lamps at each end of the sofa.

barbarachambers.047r-hires
Chambers + Chambers Architects

Often, simply rearranging what you already own is enough to bring a completely different feeling into your space. For example: pull some gorgeous coffee table books off the shelf (where you rarely notice them) and place them in stacks on a round table, or on the coffee table. Then place a vase in the center. Ta-da, you’ve just created a luxe looking vignette!

If you’re still working through the color palette and find you still have too many competing hues in one space, consider having some of your existing furniture re-upholstered in neutral fabric. The cost can be less than purchasing new furniture, and this one change can completely transform your space.

Luxe Bedroom

Luxe Bedroom 2
My Domaine

Another element that can have a massive impact on how luxe your room feels is what’s underfoot. Go for something big — the bigger the better — and in a soft, neutral hue. Too often I see rooms with rugs that are too small for the space, but I understand why: big rugs are expensive … at least, a lot of the time they are! I took the liberty of tracking down four chic options that all come in large sizes (8 by 10 and up) for less than $500:

Affordable Luxe

Luxe rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Nourison Enhance in Ivory; Safavieh Cedar Brook in Navy and White; Jaipur Rugs Natural Lucia Marvy in Natural Beige; Safavieh Chatham in Gray and Ivory.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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The Magic of Ceiling Beams

Molly Barnard Grant Design
Molly Barnard Grant Design

I love older homes for a number of reasons, but high atop that list are the little details that new homes just don’t seem to have these days. Everything just feels a bit too polished for my taste, or else it’s hidden behind drywall. Where’s the interest?

One of my favorite ways to add some architectural interest in newer spaces involves looking up… and adding ceiling beams.

Design Mom

Not only does this element add loads of personality, it can also take on any number of styles. Rustic and worn or sleek and smooth, there’s a beam that matches your home’s aesthetic. There are even faux styrofoam beams if you don’t want to invest more money than necessary. (How convincing are they? I bought my house thinking the ones in the kitchen were legit and didn’t know for months!)

A Beautiful Mess

I love the different levels of contrast that can be introduced as well. If you want something big and bold, paint them stark black. Have a more country French vibe going on in your home? Keep them as is, the more worn the better. Or if you’d like them to simply exist in the background to make other elements pop, paint those beams the same exact color as your ceiling. Trust me when I say that this will create the illusion of an immense amount of space!

Rh Design

Now let’s talk patterns. This two story design is a dream, but most of us don’t have the square footage to pull it off. When beams are kept to the ceiling there’s still any number of ways to lay them out – parallel (the most popular), as a grid, pitched for vaulted ceilings, crisscross, I could go on for quite a bit longer but you get the idea. The options are endless and your creativity will not be stifled in the slightest.

Bradshaw Designs

Another tip I’ll pass along is to let the beams help dictate the rest of the space. Think about matching fixtures or lighting to their tones like in the kitchen above, it will really help call attention to such a beautiful architectural detail. At the same time, consider mimicking graphic elements created up high in textiles, like floor rugs.

Rugs-Direct-Collage

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Mother’s Day Gift Idea: A Sanctuary for Mom

Lovingly made macaroni necklaces, breakfast in bed, bouquets of flowers, a locket filled with treasured photos: these gifts from the heart are all sure to be well received on Mother’s Day. But every once in a while — when she’s had an especially trying year, for example — it feels good to go above-and-beyond for mom… and you can’t go much more above-and-beyond than a home makeover! From a party-ready patio where she can sip wine with her friends, to a solo spa-like bath retreat, read on for giftable home makeover ideas to suit every budget (and every mom).

House and Home
House & Home

Quiet retreat. Moms who love nothing more than a quiet afternoon curled up with a good book would certainly appreciate a cozy place to do just that. Upgrade her space with a comfy place to sit, a soft throw blanket, a subscription to a new-to-her magazine or a stack of books tied up in ribbon, a lovely mug and selection of great coffee and tea.

Domino
Domino

Patio. For the mom who loves hanging out with her girlfriends, what could be better than a spruced-up, party-ready patio? Use her existing patio furniture, but give the space an upgrade with outdoor curtains, hanging lanterns, plenty of candles, and exotic textiles. Round things off with a bottle or two of her favorite wine, and a colorful outdoor rug.

Domino2
Domino

Glammed-up closet. Getting ready for the day doesn’t have to be a wild goose chase: make it a pleasurable experience for mom by injecting her closet and dressing area with glamorous details and smart storage. Add removable wallpaper to one wall for a budget-friendly (yet high-impact) focal point, swap out jumbled hangers for a full matching set, and add a pretty perch where she can sit to put on shoes.

Emily Griffin
Emily Griffin Design

Craft room. If mom loves to craft, give her a space that will fuel her inspiration and keep her organized, too. A table with built-in storage paired with comfy stools makes a great workspace for all sorts of projects. Bring some style to the space with a bold painted or wallpapered wall, fresh flowers, and new lighting.

Domino1
Domino

Spa-like bath. Even if you’re not going for a full-fledged bathroom remodel, there are still plenty of ways to give mom a spa-like experience at home. Think high-end bath products, lovely shower curtains, new artwork, a rug, a pretty little stool, and a vase of fresh roses by the sink. To top things off, why not treat mom to six months of a weekly cleaning service, if she doesn’t already have one?

Final tips: To be sure she loves the end result, consider printing out inspiration photos and wrapping them up with a note that you will treat her to transform the space of her choice. Working on the project together may end up being the most fun part of the gift!

Mom-worthy rug shopping guide (clockwise from top left): Surya Irina in Red; Jaipur Rugs Ceres Eris in Gray, Silver, Blue and Pink; Kaleen Relic in Gray, Ivory and Pink; Kaleen Relic in Pink, Hot Pink and Rosewood.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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10 Bathroom Trends for 2017

Yelllowtrace

I admit it, one of my favorite parts of my job is identifying emerging trends. Whether it’s tracking interiors, graphic design, or even music, I love it all. In so far as interior trends for 2017, bathrooms are really standing out. Although these usually small – yet important – rooms can be overlooked, why not make your morning routine or bath time a little more luxurious?

1. Statement Furniture
In the bathroom, yes. While I realize not all of us have the space to add furniture (me included), I love the idea of having a place to sit while drying off or applying lotion. Having a chair or bench on which to lay towels or clothes while in the shower would definitely be a bonus as well.

Casework

2. Free-Standing Vanities
A free-standing vanity feels so much more light and airy than a standard to the floor cabinet piece. It’s more like a piece of furniture than the standard cabinetry we’ve become used to. The amount of styles available at the moment are dizzying, meaning you’re for sure able to find something that fits your aesthetic.

via Front Main

3. Patterned Tiles
This trend is one of my favorites, though it has the possibility to feel risky. The key to adding decorative patterned tiling to your bathroom is to make it feel classic, like it’s never going to go out of style. Simple geometric styles as well as encaustics are a smart choices, but if a more rustic is your style that’s safe, too.

via Domino
via Domino

4. Large Light Fixtures
You might be thinking that a large fixture would feel off in a small room, but it can be oh so right. Interesting lighting can act as art in a space that may have little wall space for the real thing. So go glam, go modern, go whatever – just make it unexpected.

Heather Bullard

5. Vanities
While just the thought of a vanity may make your mind time travel back to the 1950s, they’re definitely having a moment. Whether it means having a dedicated space like above or simply adding a stool to the counter, you can make it happen. I, for one, know how much I’d love to sit down while putting on my makeup instead of hunching over the sink.

Alyssa Rosenheck

6. Dark Walls
Another trend that may seem counterintuitive in such a small space, dark paint has the ability to make anything feel instantly more luxe. Match the cabinets to the walls for an even sleeker feel, then accessorize away with naturals like wood and jute or bolder colors for a bigger pop!

Becki Owens

7. Free-Standing Tubs
Another of my favorites, I love a free-standing tub. It’s the ultimate in bathroom luxury, a dedicated space for relaxation. Whether you go with a straight-sided modern design or salvage a vintage clawfoot style, you just can’t lose.

A Beautiful Mess

8. Wall-Mounted Faucets
I’ve been seeing them everywhere – from homes to businesses. Wall-mounted faucets are a fantastic space-saver for small bathrooms, and visually interesting as a bonus. Brass looks especially fantastic, such an incredible industrial vibe!

Sarah Sherman Samuels

9. Round Mirrors
I’ve used this trend elsewhere in my house, and like the potential of making such a small room feel instantly larger. Round mirrors offer a more organic feel than their square and rectangular counterparts, and the style of frame you choose can help introduce a specific style in an easy way.

Amber Interiors

10. Throw Rugs
You probably have a standard bath mat, why not take up about ten notches and add a more stylized floor rug in its place? I change mine out about twice a year – darker for winter and lighter for summer – for some flexible style. Treat your bath like any other space you’d use a floor covering in and add some extra personality.

Rugs-Direct-Collage

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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